State Wins Delay To “Research” Camera-Grabbing

Peter Hvizdak/NH Register Pool Photo

Jennifer Gondola began Wednesday in state court, proceeded to a meeting with the FBI, then went home with her iPhone4—containing a video that has become the talk of the town and key evidence in two investigations.

Those were the latest developments in the multi-stage drama growing out of Gondola’s controversial arrest in downtown New Haven’s Temple Street courtyard in the wee hours of June 2.

Gondola (pictured at top), who’s 35 and from Ansonia, appeared in state Superior Court on Elm Street Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of “interfering” with police at around 1:55 a.m. that day as nightclubs were letting out and police responded to the usual mayhem. She was recording an arrest and alleged roughing up of a 24-year-old man when the police sergeant in charge of the downtown bar detail, Chris Rubino, ordered her to turn over her iPhone4 camera. She refused and placed the iPhone in her bra. Then Rubino ordered another cop to grab the camera out of her bra and ordered Gondola under arrest.

That encounter is now the subject of an internal affairs complaint at the New Haven police department, which two years ago instituted a strict policy against officers stopping citizens from video-recording them or arresting them for “interfering.” (Click on the play arrow above to watch the video, which the Independent obtained Tuesday.) It also sparked an FBI civil-rights investigation into the arrest that Gondola witnessed and partly video-recorded. She and her attorney, Diane Polan, spoke for about an hour with one federal agent, Dave Cannell, and New Haven Internal Affairs Detectives Craig Dixon and Tammi Means in the offices of the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Church Street.

Before that, Gondola had to deal with her misdemeanor charge at the courthouse a block up the street. There, state Judge Bruce Thompson agreed to continue her case until July 13 at the request of Assistant State’s Attorney David Strollo.

“The state is going to need some time to look at further evidence and research into the” law on confiscating cameras, Strollo told the judge. He refused to discuss the matter afterward.

Paul Bass PhotoGondola’s attorney, Polan, did speak to reporters.

She said she intends to press for a dismissal of the charges or else take the case to trial. She said Rubino had no right to take Gondola’s phone.

“This is a clear violation of the department’s policy” on recording cops, Polan said. (Read a story about the policy here.)

She questioned Rubino’s argument that he needed the video as crucial evidence to support a misdemeanor charge against the man he was arresting at the time. Polan noted that other people in the plaza had been recording the arrest. The others stopped recording when police asked them to; only Gondola kept recording, after the arrestee was already in handcuffs and as members of the crowd accused cops of using excessive force (including stomping on his head).

In any case, Rubino’s rationale, if embraced by the state, would put all news reporters in jeopardy. “This would allow the police to grab the video cameras and the still cameras of the press,” she said. If “any member of the media is filming anything that might involve a crime,” cops could “shortcut the legal process and the legal protections everyone has in the name of protecting evidence.”

Currently police must seek a warrant or a subpoena to, say, obtain footage from a news organization. “Say you’re NBC. They can’t just take your camera and grab it off your body” if a crime occurs, she said.

Rubino had plenty of other evidence available for his June 2 arrest without needing to invoke emergency powers to seize a camera (from a bra), Polan argued. “There were three or four other officers writing reports. There was a picture showing [the arrestee] on the ground. I don’t think that [Rubino’s claim] is sufficient justification to reach into someone’s bra and take their cell phone” rather than, say, seek a warrant.

Rubino recently told the Independent he was worried that if he didn’t get the phone, Gondola would erase it because it would exonerate him of excessive force accusations.

“I would never have let her leave with that phone,” Rubino told the Independent. “Do you think anybody ever turns anything in in favor of the police? She would have never brought that in. I took that because it was in my favor.”

The Report Vs. The Video

In court Wednesday Polan obtained Rubino’s written police report. She argued that the newly released video that Gondola shot—which begins at the tail end of the cops’ handling of the arrestee, Horace Rawlings—reveals that Rubino misrepresents one aspect of their encounter: at what point Rubino invoked her right to record the police.

Here’s what Rubino wrote:

“After completing this arrest, I saw that numerous people had been taking pictures with cameras and cell phones. I saw one female, standing right next to us, that was video taping the arrest. I approached her, later identified as Gondola, and asked her if she was recording the arrest. She said ‘yes.’ I asked her if I could review the recording. She again said ‘yes’ and played back the recording for me.

“As I watched the recording I saw that she had recorded a majority of the arrest and that it clearly showed the action of Rawling[s, the arrestee] during the arrest. I felt that the recording clearly showed his attitude and interfering.

“I informed Gondola that the recording was evidence of the arrest and that I would need to confiscate it. She said she would not give me the phone. I again told her that I would need to place the phone into evidence. She said that Federal Law says that she can record it and that she would not give it to me. I told her that she had every right to record it, but that because it clearly showed evidence of the crime, that I needed it as evidence ...”

Polan noted that the video shows that Gondola asserted “I have a civil right” to record well before he demanded that she turn it over.

Then he came up with some excuse to take the phone,” Polan continued.

The FBI and local police IA staff returned Gondola’s phone to her Wednesday after reviewing and keeping a copy of the video. Gondola and Polan visited them for an interview following the appearance in Superior Court.

Tamara Harris PhotoThe FBI opened a civil-rights investigation last week after the publication in the Independent of a photo (at left) taken by another bystander, showing Sgt. Rubino with his foot on Rawling’s head.

Gondola has told the Independent in previous interviews that she started video-recording after she saw a group of cops “hitting and kicking” Rawlings. (Two other witnesses, Gondola’s friend Tamara Harris and Devon Youmans, who was working a hip-hop party inside Pulse nightclub that night, said they saw that, too. Rubino told a different story.)

That does not show up on the video. The video starts after that point.

Her video footage, obtained by the Independent Tuesday evening, is dark and chaotic.

The footage shows Rawlings on the ground with Sgt. Rubino and another officer on top of him, forcing him into handcuffs while he resists their attempts. Rawlings taunts the officers, calling them “bitch” and “pussy-ass niggers.”

Once in handcuffs, Rawlings lies on his side looking up at the cops standing over him and continues to call them names. The other officer picks him up and flips him face down on the concrete. Rawlings struggles as the cop puts his knee in his back.

Gondola can be heard exclaiming, “Yo, you don’t got to slam him. That’s fucked up, yo. He didn’t touch you. That’s fucked up.”

“Worse, Yo”

Fifty seconds into the video, Sgt. Rubino steps forward and pushes Rawlings’ head quickly and forcefully into the concrete with the bottom of his foot. He continues pressing Rawlings’ head into the sidewalk with his foot as he leans down and puts his finger in Rawlings’ face and says repeatedly, “Stop resisting.”

“Get your fucking foot off me!” Rawlings says.

“No. Stop resisting,” Rubino says. The other cop continues grappling with Rawlings’ squirming legs.

“Pussy-ass!” Rawlings says.

After 10 seconds, Rubino removes his foot.

“Why does he have his foot on his head? That’s crazy,” Gondola exclaims. She advises Rawlings to “keep quiet.”

“Just be quiet. They’re going to fuck you up later, yo. Worse, yo,” she tells him.

A few seconds later, Rawlings groans as a cop kneels on him. “Yo, get that on camera, baby,” he says.

“I got you,” Gondola replies. “But you need to shut up, yo. ... They’re going to fuck you up when they get you to that fucking station, yo.”

“You filming that ma’am?” asks a man, off-camera.

“Yes, I am,” Gondola says. “It’s my civil right.”

“I’d like to review it,” the voice says.

Then the screen goes blank.

Click here to watch a video, previously obtained and published by the Independent, taken by Devon Youmans. It ends when Youmans obeyed an order given to members of the crowd to disperse and stop recording. Gondola kept recording.

Melissa Bailey contributed to this story.

Previous stories on this case:

Video-Recorded Arrestee Disputes Police Account
FBI Gets OK To Inspect Cop-Filmer’s Phone
Rubino: “I’ll Be Vindicated”
FBI Joins Beating Probe
Sgt. Arrests Video-Taker; IA Probe Begins

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posted by: RCguy on June 12, 2012  7:31pm

looks as though he made quick work confiscating her phone… unless we are still owed 20 more seconds of footage.

posted by: Tomahawk on June 12, 2012  8:13pm

It is her civil right to record the police, Yo!

posted by: Jones Gore on June 12, 2012  8:56pm

He did not violate her civil rights by confiscating the phone. She recorded the incident which is her right, she was allowed to do so by the police.

The video shows the Cop did not kick him in the face as she originally said. He placed his foot on his head. I mean really..I saw people get beat down by police. They handled this man with kid cloves.

She needs to stay in Ansonia and He needs to stay in Bridgeport.

posted by: OccupyTheClassroom on June 12, 2012  10:17pm

I don’t understand why there isn’t one or two officers who film everything so that civilians can tape what they want. When protesting in DC and NYC and at the G8 the cops had tons if video. They even had cameras on their helmets.

posted by: HhE on June 12, 2012  10:19pm

What a mouth on her.  I did not do a full word count, but I think the F—- to no F-word ration is about 1 to 5.  Never mind soap, one would need TSP to clean that mouth.

She also appears to using words to inflame the situation.

posted by: RCguy on June 12, 2012  10:26pm

I do believe this video proves that the New Haven police officer was rattled by the arrestee’s obnoxious comments… to the point that he lost his cool and his professionalism.

posted by: Stylo on June 12, 2012  10:54pm

I don’t think the cop did anything wrong. He certainly did not hurt the guy.  It’s called dealing with an incendiary, obnoxious drunk.

The woman who taped it was the worst offender, obviously trying as hard as she could to start something and just waiting for the cop to make a move. She’s utterly contemptible.

posted by: Edward_H on June 13, 2012  2:37am

Does anyone know what is the NHPD procedure to secure video from private security cameras that may have captured evidence of a crime? Do they break into the home or establishment and remove the camera equipment?

posted by: robn on June 13, 2012  7:19am

Isn’t it possible that Mr Rawlings, who has elsewhere stated on the NHI that he’s a boxer capable of sending an opponent ” to the moon”, and who was clearly excited in this video, sent out enough danger signals for the police to be overly cautious?
My second question is, have you ever gotten punched really hard in the mouth by a trained boxer at the peak of physical condition?

posted by: GeeLow on June 13, 2012  7:22am

To OccupyTheClassroom,
Are you living in La La Land? With City budgets busting at the seams, you want to have an officer at every scene where a fight or incident might nreak out. And you want this officers only job to be to videotape and incident?

The reason there were a bunch of cops assigned to film at the G3 is because it was a planned event with amticipated problems. NHPD filmed the ONH incident because it was planned.

posted by: Jacques Strap on June 13, 2012  7:49am

Gondola did nothing to defuse the situation.  In fact, she aggravated the incident with her comments.  Rawlings clearly refused to resist as ordered by police, and his comments only add to his guilt.  Never mind he has a prior record as a thug from Bridgeport.  I hope these two troublemakers stay out of New Haven from here on, and Rubino is exonerated.

posted by: Walt on June 13, 2012  8:04am

I like the camera on the helmet idea.

While we probably cannot afford cameras for each cop a couple for the squad covering trouble prone areas would help prove the truth when problems develop,

The New Haven bar areas purposely attract youth,  make lots   of money   plying them with booze, and predictably trouble follows

As part of licensing the bars,  a big fee should be charged for the extra policing really needed only because these bars invite

Property taxes do not begin to cover the costs for protection.  New Haven   regular taxpayers should not be covering these expenses,  The bars should pay extra.

Can’t see much in the photos, certainly not use of excessive force by the cops.

Surprising that no marks show in the photo of Rawlings, if he was really attacked as he claims

posted by: Jay bud on June 13, 2012  8:10am

Interesting now i know how people can spell correctly since spell check is automatic. I was once an idiot like this kid and didnt obey an order by the police and guess what the police saved me from getting seriously injured. As the police also said to another group of people next to us the man didnt obey and he pulled a gun out and shot in our direction. police are their to keep these idoits off the street. maybe he is respectful at home but clearly he was out of line or he would not be arrested. he was looking for a show since he knew a camera was running. big man thats right its great for your future when an employer searches your name for a job. you will be first pick when they hear your foul language. you should have just kept quiet and stopped resisting. what a fool! Have respect for those police they do save you ass when you need them. When i was in jail i had to spread my cheeks everytime i had a visitors. It was recorded too. did i complian no i put myself there. smarten up kid or you will be there too. its time to clean up your dirty mouth and attitude.

posted by: William Kurtz on June 13, 2012  8:23am

The video does nothing to address the question of whether Mr. Rawlings was “punched and kicked” before being handcuffed. From everything I’ve read about this case, including Mr. Rawlings’ own assertions of his prowess as boxer and his frequent physical confrontations with the police, I don’t think he’s a credible witness and if he’s as tough and belligerent as his own words suggest, I personally would give the officers some latitude in the amount of force they used to subdue him. Once a physical confrontation begins, the officers have no way of knowing how quickly it might escalate or whether the struggling suspect is going to be able to get his or her hands on a weapon. I would rather see a bruised-up drunk than a shot or stabbed police officer or bystander.

Having said that, this video shows pretty clear evidence of some unnecessary roughness, when the officer picks Mr. Rawlings up and slams him onto the concrete. He’s already handcuffed and appears to be under control at that point. Even if his mouth is still running, that’s no excuse for violent mistreatment. And the “stop resisting” trick is increasingly common in the viral media age, setting the stage for a later justification of any violent behavior–common enough that one has to wonder whether it’s become a part of police training, officially or otherwise.

posted by: JMS on June 13, 2012  8:50am

You know what I learned from watching this video? I learned that being a cop is a really tough job. Imagine doing your job in the middle of a crowd of belligerent hostile drunken people all shouting confrontational profanities at you while filming your work and posting it online for all the world to see and question and pass judgement. Imagine a work environment like that. Would you want this job as I just described? Frankly I am amazed that anyone would want this job.


posted by: THREEFIFTHS on June 13, 2012  9:01am

posted by: Edward_H on June 13, 2012 2:37am

Does anyone know what is the NHPD procedure to secure video from private security cameras that may have captured evidence of a crime? Do they break into the home or establishment and remove the camera equipment?

They ask for it.Also the private security cameras tapes are in a recorder.From what I see this video shows the Sgt. Rubino with his fooot on his neck. The question I ask is how come no body Takes pictures when a drive-by shooting happens.

posted by: Mark Oppenheimer on June 13, 2012  9:13am

Fine people of New Haven: regardless of whether or not she “inflamed” the situation, regardless of whether or not the police used appropriate or excessive force, IT IS STILL LEGAL TO TAKE VIDEOS OF POLICE OFFICERS IN ACTION. You are allowed to take video of anything you want in public, and police officers may not arrest you for it. As Americans, we should all be grateful for that right: the police should be grateful because it helps them prove when they are acting properly, and citizens should be grateful because it helps them get evidence when police are acting improperly. That is something we should all be able to agree on. What’s more, that’s the law.

posted by: robn on June 13, 2012  9:35am


Ms Gondola’s right to record public events doesn’t necessarily mean that she didn’t illegally interfere with the police during an arrest. That leads directly to the question of whether the camera/phone seizure was intended to secure evidence of Ms Gondola’s behavior, not the officers or Mr Rawlings. If so, Sen Looney’s point about exigent circumstances is moot because the seizure had nothing to do with an innocent 3rd party simply recording the Rawlings incident.

Just sayin.

posted by: Jones Gore on June 13, 2012  9:50am

@Mark this discussion is not about whether or not people are allowed to record the police doing their job.

This discussion is about whether the police violated Rawlings’  civil right’s as described by the person recording the incident in a previous article. He was stated that police offer kicked Rawlings in the face and drew blood. It did not happen.

The other issue is whether the police officer violated the civil right’s of the woman who was doing the recording. He clearly did not because he did not prevent her from recording the incident. He confiscated the phone as he stated in the first article to clear his name because the accusation was he beat Rawlings. He did not beat Rawlings.

So lets stay on point.

posted by: Wikus van de Merwe on June 13, 2012  9:59am

It doesn’t look like the cop slammed him, it looked like he tried to pick Rawlings up and as he resisted the cop dropped him to prevent himself from being injured.  And with Rawling directing the video so that he could optimize his payday it’s very understandable that the phone was seized, especially with Gondala trying to enflame the situation.

posted by: Curious on June 13, 2012  10:29am

Having seen the video, I have to say that Rubino was warranted in seizing the video.

The video clearly shows that Rawlings was resisting arrest. Rubino tells Rawlings at least three times to “stop resisting”, which Rawlings does now.  I believe that is the crime that Rubino wanted evidence of.

I still think it is wrong for Rubino to have stepped on the man’s face, and think that could be unnecessary force.

I do not see any beating or kicking or beating anyone bloody in this video.

I don’t like the camera seizure, but at least they did not erase the video.

posted by: FromTheHill on June 13, 2012  10:30am

I’m not pro-police but in this case the cop was wright. What a waste of time and resources. Clubbers, Stay away from New Haven if you don’t know how to act.

posted by: RCguy on June 13, 2012  11:00am

The second paragraph of William Kurtz’s comment really made me think.

posted by: luckyykid on June 13, 2012  11:29am


Thank you.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.


posted by: William Kurtz on June 13, 2012  1:08pm

“It doesn’t look like the cop slammed him, it looked like he tried to pick Rawlings up and as he resisted the cop dropped him to prevent himself from being injured.”

“The video clearly shows that Rawlings was resisting arrest. Rubino tells Rawlings at least three times to “stop resisting” . . .”

If the objective was to pick Mr. Rawlings up (and why? it doesn’t look like they’re ready to take him anywhere at that moment) ideally at least two officers would lift him to his feet by grabbing him under his arms. That’s not what happens. The officer picks him by grabbing him by an arm with his right hand, and his leg or crotch with his left, lifts him, then drops or slams him to the concrete with no way to protect his head or face from the impact.

The mere fact that Sgt. Rubino yells “stop resisting” three times isn’t evidence that Mr. Rawlings was offering meaningful resistance. It’s evidence that the sergeant wants to create the impression that there was meaningful resistance. Try watching the video with the sound off.

posted by: FrontStreet on June 13, 2012  2:59pm

1. Rawlings obviously no saint.  But foot on neck seems to cross the boundary into unnecessary restraint.

2.  Oppenheimer’s point is salient.  Courts and legislation have established right to video police in such situations. It’s not clear to me what the grounds were for arresting Gondola, and if those grounds were in any way consistent with the law (federal or state).

3.  Alcohol, hormones, and simultaneous mass exit at 2 am from clubs in close proximity is a perfect storm for violence and very difficult situations for law enforcement.  Hello New Haven City government!?  Where is wise leadership on this one?  Police officers shouldn’t be set up for failure in these volatile situations.

posted by: robn on June 13, 2012  4:22pm


Your 3rd point gave me an idea. What if the city mandated a phased closure of downtown bars? They could do a rotating requirement for bars of similar scale and in close proximity to phase their last calls (and nobody gets in anywhere after 1:15). For example a handful of bars close at 1:15, another handful at, 1:30, 1:45 and then 2. The groups could be rotated completely through a cycle once a month. This might lessen the burden on police.
If the bar owners moan and groan about losing 15-45 minutes of time for three weeks out of the month (they will), maybe the city could lobby the state to allow a 1:30 to 2:30 cycle to balance it out.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on June 13, 2012  4:27pm

Can a police officer confiscate your equipment or demand to see photographs/video that you have taken?

In certain circumstances. In general, unless the camera was used in a crime (such as child pornography or “upskirting”), police officers need a warrant to seize your equipment or to view pictures or video.However, courts may approve the seizure of a camera in some instances where police have “reasonable, good-faith belief that it contains evidence of a crime by someone other than the police themselves (it is unsettled whether they still need a warrant to view them),” according to the ACLU.

posted by: Walt on June 13, 2012  5:01pm

Robn’s suggestion is well stated and fair

Can be done via Ordinance or requires Statute?

posted by: meta on June 13, 2012  5:09pm

Rubino himself stated that he confiscated the phone because it would exonerate him. That completely supplants any claim of collecting evidence against the arrested.

posted by: Edward Francis on June 13, 2012  10:17pm

Thank you Sgt Rubino and New Haven Police Officers for doing a commendable job in keeping the trouble makers at bay…both video’s watched objectively completely exonerate the actions of the officers. There are many Monday Morning Quarterbacks responding. Perhaps the NHPD & others should video tape all the patrons as they are leaving the bars - some are well behaved and had a good time while others are just itching for trouble before leaving the city.

posted by: Nathan on June 13, 2012  10:17pm

Mark Oppenheimer wrote: “...IT IS STILL LEGAL TO TAKE VIDEOS OF POLICE OFFICERS IN ACTION. You are allowed to take video of anything you want in public, and police officers may not arrest you for it.”

What is not legal is to do so from so close a distance as to be adding to the danger of the situation.  What is not wise is to run your mouth off at the cops while you are doing it.

William Kurtz wrote: “...Having said that, this video shows pretty clear evidence of some unnecessary roughness, when the officer picks Mr. Rawlings up and slams him onto the concrete.”

That was my impression also, although upon further viewing it appears that they might have been positioning him to also shackle or otherwise restrain his ankles.  If so, this might indicate not enough officers on duty to handle the situation.

posted by: robn on June 13, 2012  10:55pm


You’ve made a very, very good point.

posted by: jimm on June 14, 2012  7:11am

I have to ask… where did all the police haters go??? So quick to comment when Rawlings is given the chance to tell his “poor me I’m a victim” lies in his interview with the NHI. It comes of no surprise that Rawlings lied about the events of that night but he certainly took some of you cop haters for a ride with his stories of woe and prior attacks by rogue police officers and their K-9’s (surely he wasn’t fighting with them… he’s a lover not a fighter as this most recent video so conveniently confirms)... oh and a true gentleman at that. Unfortunately most of you who day in and day out bash the police won’t have the guts to stand up and admit that Rawlings was the reason this all happened. If he had cooperated it never would have escalated. But no it’s more fun to think up some idea that every police officer in New Haven comes into work each day frothing at the mouth to beat up some innocent person. Do yourself a favor and walk downtown one night after bar closing and just observe for yourself. You’ll be disgusted at what these officers have to deal with. And if you are saying to yourself, “I’m not going downtown at that time its crazy and dangerous”, then maybe for that reason you should give these officers the benefit of the doubt because it is crazy and dangerous.

posted by: lv223 on June 14, 2012  12:36pm

Rubino seems to have stated to judicial inquirers that the video exonerates him of use excessive force exercised while arresting Rawlings.  But he also states to them, without supplanting a claim of collecting evidence against Gondola, that Gondola’s alleged interfering (videotaping and shouting) may have caused or worsened Rawlings alleged resistance to arrest and caused of worsened the appearance of use of excessive force. 
Her arraignment was postponed meanwhile the federal investigation continues of his alleged civil rights violation.  To me there is evidence of Gondola’s interfering with a police officer in the line of duty on her video and there was justified seizure of it.  It’s a sticky wicket to wait for one case to bear on the other, but I think the Feds will not pursue violation that is not clear and compelling, and Gondola will be exonerated of interference by a narrow margin.
TL;DR – He did it to both exonerate himself and charge her.

posted by: Jones Gore on June 14, 2012  2:12pm

What the video implies that is the Offers immediately confiscated the phone. But what you see is the woman stopping the recording and placing it inside her bra.

Again did he or any other offer prevent her from recording? No. So did any officer violate department policy? It does not seem so since she was allowed to record the arrest.

Is there a policy in which the police have to follow such as getting a warrant to confiscate personal property which may be used as evidence? That remains to be answered.

posted by: Jones Gore on June 14, 2012  2:35pm

@Frontstreet, you ask what were the grounds for arresting Gondola? She was interfering by communicating with Rawlings while the Police were trying retrain him which also requires verbal commands.

In order for the Police to do their job they need complete control over the situation, so if Rawlings is communicating with Gondola which he clearly was the police can not effectively communicate their commands to Rawlings because is busy communicating with someone who clearly had a bad vibe with the police.

Gondola was only filming and kept her mouth shut she would not drawn the attention from the police. Remember there is other footage that the was available immediately from others who video taped the arrest. Why were they arrested? They did not interfere.

posted by: Mister Jones on June 14, 2012  4:32pm

Hoo boy. 

1. Meta, robn and others are drawing a distinction without a difference when they say that Rubino admitted he wasn’t collecting evidence against the accused when he said the video would exonerate him.  If the video shows Rawlings resisting arrest and justifying force, then it’s both evidence against the perp and exculpates the cop.  Whether it does any of that seems to be a matter of interpretation.

2.  Gondola was awfully close to the action.  Sure, others walked between her and the police activity, but she was still too close for comfort. By injecting herself into the scene both physically and with her mouth, it’s no surprise that she was charged with interfering.

3. It’s not correct to say that “Currently police must seek a warrant or a subpoena to, say, obtain footage from a news organization.”  It’s not clear whether that’s Independent commentary or a paraphrase of lawyer Cookie Polan, but either way, police are barred from getting warrants against news organizations under most circumstances.  Newsroom warrants are barred by both state [Section 54-33j] and federal [42 USC § 2000AA] statute.

posted by: CT Liberal on June 18, 2012  4:40pm

Rubino clearly committed two crimes:

1. He assaulted Rawlings.  Rawlings was already handcuffed on the ground, the other officer flipped him over and kneeled on him (illegal), and then Rubino stepped on his head (illegal).

2. He illegally took a citizens possession (cell phone) without a Warrant, violating her 4th Amendment Right.

Rubino should be fired, charged with a two felonies: assault and theft.  This is a cut and dry case, 100% chance of conviction.  Almost guaranteed he will plea.

posted by: Walt on June 18, 2012  5:35pm

I’m no more an expert on this than “CT Liberal”  who appears to be stating what he hopes is the ending legal analysis in this case, not necessarily   in any way the truth.

From my own , also prejudiced,
view the cops needed to act, as Rawlings,  a bragging pugilist was still fighting and cursing them

More questionable I would think would be the removal of the camera from the bra, but at least   the action`wasperformed by a female cop.``

posted by: dotti226 on June 18, 2012  9:26pm

Disgusting.  As a former resident of New Haven the comments against the police in this incident is disgusting,  Cities that are riddled with crime deserve what they have when they do not support the police action that needs to be taken to maintain safety
There has been nothing done here on this video that indicates any wrong doing.
When are citizens going to realize that keeping a community safe means people putting their lives on the line to do this and they deserve their support.  I am grateful I no longer live in New Haven.
All of this has been a ploy from those outside of New Haven to just have a night on the town at the expense of the taxpayers and the police are paying the price for it.

posted by: HhE on June 18, 2012  10:36pm

CT Liberal, which coffee house did you get your legal training at? 

Even if a person is in handcuffs, they can continue to resist and be a threat.  Mr. Rawlings was resisting arrest (it took two officers to get handcuffs on him).  The second officer had crossed Mr. Rawlings legs and was putting his weight on him so he could not get up.  A reasonable level of force.  The placing a foot on the neck was brief and effective in achieving resistance. 

The camera was confiscated, not stolen.  That confiscation may or may not be legal, but hardly a felony.  The take away lesson may be to first arrest for interfering, then confiscate the camera along with all other personal effects.  Ms. Gondola was certainly interfear with the arrest by inciting Mr. Rawlings to resist. 

Having spent too much time watching real lawyers in action, I can tell you that most of what they do is talk big and make deal;s with their fellow lawyers.  Occasionally, the law actually comes into it. 

It does seam to me that the way forward is to define at the state level through law, and at the local level by departmental policy, when and how a camera can be held for evidentiary purpose.

posted by: Concerned-citizen on June 19, 2012  6:13am

The crime she was recording was police brutality and excessive force, nothing more! I find it very seridipulous the Sgt. only goes after her phone? Perhaps, he had a problem with her instructing this arrested person to be quite. Or maybe just maybe we have a racisit Sgt who did like the way she was phonetically speaking?
I’m glad she has representation, unfortunately, NHPD & the City will be called to pay this ultimately!
This is to the NHPD and State Attorney,
If he violated her civil rights or used force beyond what was was required for his arrest he should be fired! No pension, no benefits Just gone and forgotten. It time to cull the bad apples!

posted by: Jones Gore on June 19, 2012  9:46am

@Concerned Citizen there was nothing excessive in that video.

posted by: Concerned-citizen on June 19, 2012  12:28pm

Jones Gore or should I say Officer Gore!
Nothing excessive, you’re joking right? Putting or jamming his foot on the head and neck of a cuffed (ankle and wrist) suspect in your eyes isn’t excessive?
One has to wonder why the FBI is involved now? NHPD can’t be counted on to police their own, what a sad state indeed!
Pension gone